January 24, 2018

By Mark Faris “The Coast Bard”

Soon it will be a month since Christmas 2017 became yet another Christmas Past.

Time tangos by so very quickly.

Nevertheless, my take on the annual festivities continues. I just can’t help myself. I don’t remember exactly how old I was when it occurred to me there might not be an actual Santa Claus. Most likely, it was in my mid-to-late thirties. In that vicinity. Although the era does remain a bit blurry. And mysterious. Due, perhaps, to a numbing dose of coconut tree trauma.

Surprisingly, the revelation wasn’t quite as distressing as I would have imagined.

There was no need for specialized counseling. Nor heavy sessions of electroshock therapy. Although I did consider - albeit briefly - becoming a ventriloquist. (I simply could not find a partner willing to take turns being the dummy.) Considering the enormity of Santa Claus in my life, particularly during those early formative years - 1 to 35 - it seemed the demise of such a merry, old soul would be thoroughly and irrevocably traumatic. But, as heard tell ‘round a campfire - often featuring the faint aroma of performing seals - when one door shuts, another opens. Although occasionally, it is a trap door.

And when I learned the influx of Christmas gifts continued even without Santa sliding down the chimney, distributing the tribute before ingesting homemade sugar cookies and cocoa, reconciling the loss wasn’t all that bad. Callas and materialistic though it may seem, gifts go hand in hand with the holiday spirit. Especially when you are on the receiving end. At least for the upstanding souls circulating within my periphery.

Still, there is a very special aura enveloping delivery of gloriously wrapped gifts hand-forged by misshapen elves doing business in a magical North Pole hamlet. And delivered via sleigh drawn by eight tiny FLYING reindeer.


For the most sincere devotees, I reckon that enchanting luster always will remain fully intact. And why not? As a cornerstones of my being doggedly insists: if you believe it is true, it IS true. Of course, such thinking can be taken to extremes. (See Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Frosty the Snowman, Goofy, Donald Trump, etc.) Such determination is entirely in the mind of the believer. But with a few exceptions (gravity, wind, water, fire among the more obvious) occasional suspension of reality is not necessarily a bad thing.

Just ask Walt Disney. Go ahead. Ask him. He’d like that.

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